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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Finishing Great Room Design

sandkshouseJanuary 8, 2013
Overall, we're pretty happy with the way our great room is shaping up. But we feel like it is 80% or 90% of the way there. Looking for suggestions to complete the room. The things that we wouldn't want to change are the couches, the Eames chair, and the oriental rug (it came from my great grandparent's house). The wall with the nook and white cabinets backs up to the kitchen. The long term plan is to take down this wall when we redo the kitchen.
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The rug is nice, but I think it's too small for the room. Your coffee table looks like an island. What about hanging the rug above the sofa? It looks like that wall is big enough, and it would make a dramatic patterned art piece. Then, get a larger rug to complement it to anchor all your furniture. I just think you may need some extra accessories and perhaps some fixed drapery panels to frame and soften your windows.

Move the furniture away from the walls a bit and have the front feet rest on the new, larger rug.

Hang the art currently over the sofa over your glass console on the back wall.
9 Likes    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:39AM
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Jayme H.
What a nice home! Would u consider putting a sissal-type rug under your oriental to cover more space? (That rug also would look cool hung on a wall). I feel you need something with more height placed in the nook. Maybe a larger piece of art over your console table? And something flashier and perhaps larger over the sofa? I feel like a different color coffee table would look better with the oriental rug if you keep the rug there.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:40AM
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Shannon Parker
I agree with mmilos. Pull the furniture closer to the fireplace and get a larger rug (or maybe just another one in addition if you can't part with that one). Perhaps a narrow table behind one of the couches with a lamp and books if you get them far enough out. OR I might even put the two couches across from one another and use ottomans instead of the piece you have in the center. This room looks just a bit large for the art and furniture. Will be so great when you're done:)!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Design Mode
You had me at "Eames Chair!"
To complete your room, change your Mission-style coffee & end tables, the placement of the rug, the ceiling light, and the large speakers. The wall colour could be changed when you have chosen a replacement coffee table, end table, maybe another classic modern chair for the left of the fireplace, and a great collection of large paintings, with a piece of Craftsman style weaving.
The great looking rug is too small for the current location, so it could be featured to the left of the fireplace under an Egg, Swan, or other classic chair that complements the awesome! Eames chair. Both areas could have a cool floor lamp, or side table & lamp for reading or cosy conversations.
I would get some tribal patterned pillows in red, cream, navy & blue-turquoise for your sofas. Also, Craftsman weavings for the wall behind. You could have a larger rug to complete the look - darker browns that look nubby and woven. It should be placed under the frontage of each sofa, and complete the area. Looks like 10x12 or larger would do.
Your coffee table could be two large, modern rectangles side-by-side. You could go concrete, reclaimed wood, or a large refurbished industrial antique. Or a classic Noguchi-inspired table. I see you have a Mission-style dining set, but rooms don't have to be matchy-matchy.
The two ottomans could be placed in front of the fireplace, or by the coffee table for extra seating.
I would find a few pottery accents for the fireplace and nook. You could find rustic reclaimed wood to inexpensively and easily create shelves in the nook - just for now. Re-distribute you family photos with some collectibles from your travels and the outdoors.
I think the mantle should be less traditional, and more modern - a wide, textural, driftwoody-blond, chunky piece of wood. Something that looks like your local species.
(Tell your plant to stop moulting and get with the program.)
Have fun with your lighting too - chunky bases, modern shades, wood, organic shapes.
Check out # 2, 7, 10 in the Houzz article.
Ideabook: Readers' Choice: The 10 Most Popular Living Rooms of 2012 · See Ideabook
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Thanks for the comments, so far. Lots to think about. It sounds like I need to rethink the rug. I like the idea of hanging it on the wall, and the wall is definitely large enough to hold it. How do you go about getting it to hang on a rod without damaging the rug? The coffee table and end table are the oldest pieces in the room (other than the rug), and we aren't tied to them.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:31PM
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New Again Home Interiors
I agree that the rug hung on the wall would be stunning. There is rug hanging hardware that consists of a rod and clips that attach to the rug without damaging it. I found the one in the picture at http://allaboutwindowscolorado.com/aaw_022.htm . You need to bring all of your furniture in closer together. Angling the two sofas at a 45 degree angle from the fireplace will make tv viewing easier for everyone on both sofas. Make the arms of the two sofas almost touch, forming a corner, put your end table in the corner. Traffic entering the room will go around the furniture between the demilune table and sofa, rather than walking between pieces (interrupting conversation). Move the coffee table to about 18 inches from the front of one sofa, or push the two small end tables together to create a coffee table. Put the larger framed print on the wall where your demilune table, about 8-10 inches above the table. Bring the reclining chair into the grouping and your room should feel more complete, and cozy. Enjoy!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Chroma Design
Here is a link to various methods of hanging a rug. Marla Mallet is a respected author and expert on oriental rugs and textiles.
I have a fair amount of knowledge, so I will share my opinion on your rug. It is likely a Lilihan, possibly Sarouk. I would date it 1920s through early 1930s. Hard to be sure from a photo, seeing it in person is EVERYTHING!
It is very unusual to have a Lilihan nearly square.
It is really lovely.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:58PM
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Chroma Design, if you don't mind, I'll take a photo of just the rug plus a couple of close ups and post them tomorrow. If you can tell any more about by those, the info would be great.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 6:56PM
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New Again, thanks for the link. The hangers look like a good option.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:04PM
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Stacey Rushing
Hand that rug over you sofa against the wall. It's gorgeous and should be the focal point of that big wall. Look at Ballard design and order a few monogrammed pillows. Not to matchy matchy. Look at half priced drapes and pick out a neutral drape to flank those large windows. I would skip the rug, I am not a big fan of rugs on rugs. Men hate them anyways. Look into adding maybe a table behind the sofa. Scrunch all you furniture closer and more intimate. Look into finding a few vintage and new pieces to decorate your end tables. Good luck :)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Jayme H.
Very happy u are considering hanging the rug..it is beautiful and as an heirloom, will be better preserved as a display! You have good bones here, so it will turn out wonderfully!!
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Aja Mazin

Please include a close up of the reverse side of the rug.

Lilihan rugs are executed using the Hamadan (single-wefted) weave and the Symetrical knot

That means that they have one heavy cotton weft and are made with thick, first quality wool.
They are tight flat woven rugs.

The knot is easily identifiable.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:31PM
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I did a mock up in Photoshop of the rug on the wall. If we go this route, it seems like we'll need something else on the sides. Perhaps lamps with move visual weight. It just looks really heavy in the middle to me.
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Here is a shot of the entire front, a close up of the front, and a close up of the back. If anyone can share info on the rug, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 2:46PM
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I should have vacuumed the rug before I took the photos.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 2:47PM
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I like it! I would get two larger scale floor lamps for either side.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Is the rug square as in the mock up? If there is a narrow side I'd hang it from that. I assume there is an electrical outlet on that wall. If so, I would purchase a custom art light to hang above and illuminate the rug. You know, the slender brass rod type you see below. If the cord shows between the rug and sofa, you can purchase a paintable chase to hide it. Put the art formerly on that wall in the niche. Is it lighted inside?
Urban Homestead · More Info
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Here is the rug hanging vertically.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:26PM
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I like the rug on the wall but I would pull the couches closer to the coffee table and put a table or cute cabinet under the rug - something that isn't too tall and is as long as the rug and won't attract attention away from the rug
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:32PM
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looks like you have a lot of mission furniture, with one modern piece in a contemporary home... 3 styles... choose the one that suites your lifestyle. Love the rug on the wall. Now face the couches toward each other and pull away from the wall. Get the Eames next to the fire place (it might be already) place a wooden magazine/newspaper rack next to it and a great lamp. PULL out that carpet, put down wood oak flooring or CORK! a nice big chunky looong coffee table in between your (now) facing couches --you'll have yourself a great cozy room... assuming this is a room for the chill-out.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:33PM
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I'm not a pro but the first thing I notice is that it is off center with the ceiling beam.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:33PM
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Aja Mazin

Beautiful Lilihan.

I agree with Chroma Design, who I believe was amazingly accurate in his identification.

It was woven in what used to be called the Kemereh (now Sultanabad) district in Iran [Persia]

You have a rare rug ~ an antique Lilihan. in what appears to be in excellent condition w. a bit
of abrage.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:33PM
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Drapery and Design by Carlos
Window treatments to start (very important in order to make this room feel as "home"), twice bigger rug and I would also approach the sofas to the center. Side tables and substantial quality lamps. If possible get a better quality coffee and side tables. A couple of extra accent pillows and some art work would finish the transformation.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Consider layering the rug on top of a larger one. That always looks rich to me.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:38PM
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I prefer it vertical. Can you center the couch and rug under the beam? Maybe fill the wider space next to the couch with a small console or reading chair.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Aja Mazin
Good grief!

No direct sunlight on your rug.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:43PM
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Oh, my! So many ideas for you.

Yes, to the rug on the wall - vertically and do center it under the beam. Then place a higher chest of drawers or a cabinet of interest directly under it. Something black - or antique to vintage the rug.

Bring all your furniture into the room, place none of it against the wall! Your room is wonderfully large and will accommodate lots more furniture, like a comfy chair or two by the fireplace (don't worry, the Eames will still be front and center).

Soften that white floor with a large rug, repeat some of the colors in more of your artwork and pillows. Recover the two ottomans in a bright and fun color and place them side by side in front of the fireplace when you're not using it.

The demilune table between the dining room and foyer needs to be replaced with something more substantial.

It looks like it could be a great room - colorful, friendly, and eclectic. Start with the rug, snuggle your furniture together and use more color!
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Thanks to everyone for the continued comments and suggestions. We really want to get this room right. A couple of comments.

We've been moving to a more modern style. So we aren't married to the mission style coffee table and end table.

I don't think it would work to put the couches facing each other since they aren't the same length.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:55PM
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oh that makes sense (couches) from the picture ,I thought they were the same
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:59PM
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look to Room & Board --I believe that's the style for you.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:02PM
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I love the wall color and the Eames chair & ottoman!

There are only two small lamps. Get some floor lamps and have none of them match.

Also the tables are too matchy-matchy. Plus to coffee table is too far from both sofas to even be functional. Try replacing the coffee or end table with one that has curves in the design. That can take away from everything being so boxy. All I see are rectangles and squares, except for the Eames chair. Go with the curves.

There is a lot of wall space for interesting art pieces, or a photo gallery. Replace that tiny console table behind the loveseat with a sideboard or commode,or one of those rustic pieces with lots of smaller drawers.

A larger area rug, and try on with a bold graphic pattern, again with curves or anon-boxy or linear pattern,, with a contrasting color. Oh, and mix up the throw pillows, non-matching ones that pick up the room colors.

One more: stone or tile the fireplace. That white brick is too cold. A less expensive option is to paint it another color.

Have fun with it!
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Pull your sofas out from the walls and "float" them closer to the fireplace so people can converse with one another when they are sitting in the beautiful Eames chair and the two sofas. Use a sofa table behind the one -- parallel to the wall with the rug on it. You might even use your semi-circular console there, with two small chairs on either side. I also would put a darker console --- maybe a "wine bar" ? -- under the rug. Too bad you can't move the mantle down a bit....the TV is really high (which is probably why you've got the sofa way across the room to begin with). How much of a second space you could have behind the sofa facing the fireplace depends on how comfortable it is to watch TV from, so perhaps having the chairs and console table backing up that sofa is not such a good idea, after all.

It's a really lovely room, and big enough to give you lots of options!
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Kathryn Carver
The coffee table seems to be too far from the couches to be useful. Where so you set glasses, etc. The art behind the sofa is too small. Everything seems too small for this room. Maybe it's just the photos and it looks better in person.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:47PM
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You could also even frame the rug if you wanted to. I've seen a few heirloom pieces like your great-grandparents' rug that people have decided to frame them. It adds a bit of sophistication to the whole idea, plus it will help to keep it clean! I do agree with bhelmore; bring your furniture in a little closer together. While room to move around is a good thing, you still want to keep an air of intimacy in the room...this is where friends, family, and loved ones might gather, so a certain level of coziness might help too. Let us know how things are coming along!
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:52PM
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MG Mack
It's a beautiful room. To me, it lacks a cohesive feel. The colors appear disjointed and need a tie in. The rug and couches seem to almost clash, unless that is just the lighting in the photos? Drapery or throws or pillows that tie in the wall color, couches and rug seem to be first and foremost in finishing the room.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:11PM
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KL InIdaho
I agree with making a cozier seating arrangement closer the fireplace. I would also add yellow pillows in other shapes to the sofas for more color -- maybe bolsters or round pillows -- more whimsy. Also I'd add a medium green viney plant to the coffee table to soften all the square lines. You could add yellow flowers on the other side of the fireplace to pop some more color and keep it from being so serious looking with all the straight lines. Don't be afraid of bright color; it will lighten the mood.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:38PM
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I agree with most of the postings; Great idea to move the couches closer to the fireplace in a 45 degree formation. Perhaps an end table next to the shorter couch to balance the arrangement, maybe in the corner of the couches depending upon your personal uses. A larger neutral rug with a shaggy or textural nap would fill the space with a comfy ambiance. A longer, larger coffee table would work well, too.
Place a long chest /bar (could even have a built-in bar fridge for drinks and snacks for easy access) or buffet under the wall mounted antique rug. Top it with one low profile, muted or neutral colored unique, and possibly antique, color accessory to fill the space but not detract from your beautiful rug.
Paint the brick fireplace (go for a bold, but muted, contrasting color to make it the focal point of the room) and add color, color, color to other areas of the room in the form of accessories, varying depths of color and shapes reflecting your new fireplace color.
The room appears very monochromatic which makes it seem a little industrial, perhaps a little sterile. Paint and cushions are cheap decorating ideas and can be changed quickly and easily at minimal cost.
Some muted color in the soft accessories (throws, cushions,etc.) would provide interest while still allowing the room to feel cozy. Pick up some of the colors from the rug like Butter Yellow/Gold, Warm Red/ Burnt Orange, Vibrant Blues/Greens, etc. but don't be afraid to throw in a few bold/bright throw pillow colors to add interest and jazz up the room a little.
Your room is already beautiful and will be MAGNIFICENT once you incorporate some of these great ideas. Show us pics when you are done......:congrats! :)
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Artistica Painting & Decorating
Lots of great feedback from others already. Without getting too redundant, my biggest issue was with the rug. It is too small for this area and too much of a contrast with the light broadloom. I had also thought of hanging it on a wall and making it a focal point and artpiece. I would change the paint colour in the room to one with more depth and warmth that would provide a better backdrop for the furniture (and to-be wall hanging). The furniture seems out of place in the room with this wall colour. My recommendation for a wall colour would be - Weimeraner AF-155 Benjamin Moore. Lastly, I would paint the brick on the fireplace the same colour as the walls ( the new suggested colour) so that the TV and gas insert do not contrast so much. It looks as though there is a lovely view out of the windows however, my eye is drawn to the TV, gas insert and speakers....not very visually pleasing or interesting. I hope you will take mine and others feedback with a grain of salt...this is your home and you have to love it and do what feels right for you. Good luck with the finishing touches :)
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Switch the large plant to the corner where the chair is and the Eames chair to the corner where the plant was. Move the sofas closer together facing each other away from the wall, it doesn't matter if one is smaller because the Eames chair will balance out that side of the room with the smaller sofa. Get rid of the end tables & coffee table for something more contemporary, maybe something round or oval. If the mantle is wood sand it down and stain it a darker color. Move the console table behind the smaller sofa. Move your tv off the fireplace and place it on the wall where the console table was and buy some sort of piece for under the tv for storage. Maybe the speakers can sit on either side of the tv storage piece. Then purchase a glamorous mirror for above the fireplace. Add shelves to the nook for books and photos. Add some plants and baskets to give the room 'life' and texture, add a few different throw pillows and drapes and you're pretty much done!
    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:54PM
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Pull the sofas in to make an L shape with side table in between. Put a lamp on the table. Get a huge rug that is much bigger than the area occupied by the sofas. Put a sofa table behind the sofa with its back to your dining table. Put a lamp at the opposite end from the side table. At the side table end display some coffee table books etc. maybe tuck a couple of small square ottomans under it in an eye catching fabric to entice you into the room and at as extra seating. Put a large round ottoman in front of your sofas. Put your TV in the niche where you have photos now-they look too small in that space. Leave the Eames and plant where they are but consider adding more plants to the existing one to make a grouping. Use baskets to hose the pots or more pots in shades of red and blue from your rug. Leave the rug hanging vertically and make a nice seating area use it with two chairs and a table and a lamp. I'm not sure about your sofa colors. Could you use slip covers? Navy blue would be luscious.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:25AM
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Hi Sandkshouse,

I really like your paint color. Would you mind telling me what it is?

Thanks & good luck with your project. You have a beautiful space to work with.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 4:50AM
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You have a beautiful room.

I agree with the following comments:

1. Hung the rug on the wall to make an interesting focal point.
2. Place a console table under the hanging rug.
3. Place a large rug (sisal) under the coffee table and sofas to define the area.
4. Pull the sofas closer to each other.
5. Try to Photoshop arrangement of the furniture at 45 degrees. I think this can give lovely effect.
5. Paint the brick the same colour as the wall as Artistica suggested.

Could you get rid of the huge speakers and replace them with small ones which can be hidden behind the plant or furniture? For me, these huge speakers distract the beautiful view.

I would add shelving units to the closet on the right and place some art, photographs and books. Or close the closet with the french doors similar to the doors on the left of the closet.

Add a reading lamp on the side of the chair.

Window treatment will add the warm to the room.

Add some large green plans to male the space cozy and alive.

If you could purchase 2 or 3 lamps in similar style and colour, but different sizes, this would bring everything together. One on the console, second by the chair and the third by the sofas, either standing or on the side table. Maybe others can suggest the style and colour.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 8:14AM
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Thanks to everybody for the continued comment.

amydan96 -- The paint is Sherwin-Williams SW 6121 Whole Wheat, the bottom half of the dining room is SW 6124 Cardboard.

watergraphics -- Thanks for the suggestion to look at Room & Board. That is definitely in line with the style we've been gravitating towards.

Several people suggested painting the brick to get it to blend in more. One of the things we've been considering is drywalling over the top portion of the fireplace and painting that the wall color.

Thanks again. All of the feedback is helpful!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:35PM
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rur should be MUCH larger and you will need lots of green leaves (big plants) in containers in front of the terrace doors, everything else is just perfect!
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:47PM
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rug I mean, sorry :)
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Cheery Curtains
what about some nice curtains?
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 10:10PM
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Chris Cross
until the wall is taken out, I would place the smaller settee in front of the built in cabinet with the other sofa accross from it.... the rug can be put on the wall but I would keep it where it is....by all means do not put the sofa right against the wall bring it more into the centre to create a cozy conversation put.....on the wall where the sofa was ....the small wall table will then be open and a collage of art work can be created to add another focal point......large drapes on either side of the mantal hanging from a higher point that the actual frame would add to the height of the room...the coffee table will then bring the two couches together ....more should be added to the coffee table interesting object but not high ones.....throw pillows accenting the drapes but in different colours, bold, and pattern designs....a throw cover could be draped over the separate chair to bring it into the mix.....even tho the tv is above the mantel....the mantal should have some design to it also....candlesticks some of the pictures covering the built in can be displayed there also...high and low objects....therefore the cabinet will have room to display a service area.....a picture can be displayed in the alcove there
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:33AM
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